We are a relocation agency that combines innovative technology and unsurpassed local knowledge, so wherever you may be moving to we have the relocation services to help! Established for over 10 years now, and being a UK company, you really are in safe hands when considering moving to Birmingham or the wider Midlands area of the UK. Welcome to our backyard, how can we help you?
The relocation process – with it’s many variables and with the UK now no-longer being part of the European Union – can potentially be quite complicated. Whether it be home rental search, schooling finding, buying a property, shipping, Visas & Immigration processes or perhaps just lifestyle management once you land… we are here to navigate the logistics, providing all the services you need to make your relocation to Birmingham or the Midlands area an exciting reality.
We strongly believe the advantages gained by living in the Midlands will make it all worthwhile, and perhaps one of the best decisions you’ll ever make! Whether you are moving alone, or with a partner or family it is a fantastic part of the UK to start a new life, for career progression; and to experience both the wonders of the English countryside, but also it’s city life including that of the Uk’s second city Birmingham. There is just so much opportunity to try different things, be part of an incredible social scene, and have access to some of the best education – schools and Universities – and healthcare worldwide.
To get you started we’ve compiled a guide below, that begins to break down some of the key cities and picturesque areas to consider, what’s on offer and a little on their history. We hope you find this useful, and should you wish to learn anymore, or about how we can help you, please do get in touch!
Relocation to Birmingham
It is often forgotten that Birmingham is the second city of the UK, and with national and international perceptions of the city fast changing it really is worth at least visiting, if not considering as a potential spot to live in the UK. Most recently put on the map through the gritty urban drama Peaky Blinders, it is a very culturally diverse city; rich in creative exports, street art, immersive VR, an abundance of dining options, bars, live music venues and a lot of sport! To counteract all this hive of activity, if it is green space and tranquility you are after, Birmingham has more than 8,000 acres of award-winning green spaces and parks which is more than any other European city.
The Bullring, that futuristic building in the centre of town covered in over 15,000 aluminium discs that glow neon-bright at night, is home to all your shopping favourites! From the large well known chains to high end stores, bars, restaurants and cafés it has nearly everything! Last but not least are the 6 floors that Selfridges occupies selling everything from all your tech gadgets, appliances, high end fashion and food hall with Greek, Japanese, Italian to scrumptious doughnuts on offer. Be sure to discover the ‘Bull’, perhaps take a selfie with him, he is one of the UK’s most photographed landmarks!
The Library of Birmingham, located in Birmingham’s Centenary Square, is not only a multi-award winning building but houses a million printed volumes, the largest number held by a public library in the UK. It’s offering of archives, photography and rare books is world-class, containing one of the world’s largest Shakespeare collections, the Parker Collection of Children’s Books and Games, and the Great Western Railways Collection. Finally, if that isn’t enough you can relax in the secluded garden terraces, lap up the many performances and shows put on in the outdoor amphitheatre, or enjoy spectacular views of Birmingham and surrounding countryside from the panoramic viewing gallery. Not far from the library you will also find Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery housing just over 40 galleries including the world’s largest public Pre-Raphaelite collection.
Birmingham’s Jewellery quarter dates back over 200 years and is now a conservation area with more than 200 listed buildings. At it’s heart is the iconic Chamberlain clock, and a short walk from this landmark is the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. With over 400 jewellery retailers and workshops it is the place to admire and, or, purchase precious jewels, or even commission custom designed jewellery.
For something to wet your appetite why not head over to Brindley place and the canal quarter – often quoted, not surprisingly as having ‘more canals than Venice’, Birmingham is a lot bigger than Venice – it has been recently redeveloped and is crammed with restaurants and bars. The Georgian ‘St Paul’s Square’ is another perfect spot to unwind with an array of independent bars and restaurants too.
There is so much more on offer in Birmingham, and space really doesn’t allow for it, but we’ve put together a quick list of other top spots to visit too… Cadbury World – a must for any chocoholics and for all ages, Moseley Bog, just think Tolkien and Lord of the Rings and already it’s a must! The Botanical Gardens, Villa Park – the hallowed ground of Aston Villa Football team, with a 42,000-capacity it has been home to the team since 1897. The home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club and host of many International fixtures, Edgbaston Cricket ground is an absolute household favourite for and cricket fan. Symphony Hall, an opulent hall home to the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and recently voted seventh in the the best concert-hall acoustics in the entire world! Finally, Birmingham Royal Ballet – one of five major ballet companies in the UK – has just welcomed Carlos Acosta as artistic director, the celebrated Cuban dancer bringing a mix of classic revivals and ambitious partnerships to this Ballet production company.
Relocation to Warwickshire
Warwick, a market and county town, is comprised of an array of historic buildings, notably from the Medieval, Stuart and Georgian eras. The main attraction to visit in the town, and one frequented by visitors from far and wide, is Warwick Castle. Dating back to the medieval period, Warwick Castle was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1068 as a wooden fort. Live actors and special effects bring to life some of the bloodiest, darkest and most gruesome tales in the Castle’s history. With a programme of daily shows taking place, jousting tournaments, the firing of the mighty Trebuchet or medieval dining, Warwick Castle offers so much more than just a fascinating piece of architecture!
Neighbouring Leamington Spa, or Royal Leamington Spa as it is more formally known, is a striking town with stunning Regency architecture. Once voted the happiest place to live, it offers a variety of attractions including the Jephson Gardens and Royal Pump Rooms, laid out between 1844 and 1903, today they are designated as Grade II on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. For those who like to shop Leamington has maintained many independently run boutique stores meaning those more unusual wares are up for grabs for the discerning shopper. Notably, virtually all the attractions in this picturesque town are free to visit too!
Straddled across the West Midlands and South West England, the Cotswolds, designated as an Area of Outstanding Beauty, should be top of your list to visit when exploring the Midlands. Littered with villages offering ‘picture postcard’ landscapes, the architecture, built from Cotswold stone, a yellow oolitic Jurassic limestone rich in fossils particularly sea urchins, is something to be admired and really does transport you into another world. With villages such as Broadway, Stow-on-the-Wold, The Slaughters and Aldestrop, to name but a few, there are many places to stop, shop in independently run shops, grab afternoon tea or a delicious meal in the many cafés and pubs…
A riverside market town – not to be confused with Stratford in London – Stratford-upon-Avon’s greatest claim to fame is as the home of William Shakespeare. The bard was born here in 1564 and was buried in the grounds of Holy Trinity Church after his death in 1616. Shakespeare’s birthplace museum, however, is not just for theatre lovers, but also anyone interested in history and the story behind the man who wrote some of the best loved comedies and tragedies of all time! Catching a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is something that many around the world have gone to Stratford to do, with the calibre of theatre production being some of the best worldwide; you’re absolutely guaranteed a night of memorable entertainment.
Anne Hathaway’s cottage, where Shakespeare courted his future wife, is a thatched farmhouse located in Shottery, a hamlet on the outskirts of Stratford. With stunning grounds and gardens overflowing with fragrant blooms and traditional shrubs, and a café it offers a very relaxing day trip option for those wanting something a little out of the bustle of town.
If however, you do find yourself a little ‘Shakespeare-ed out’ there are days at the races, gardens to explore and a lot on offer in terms of culinary markets and independent cafés and restaurants in Stratford. Given it is set upon the River Avon, why not hire a rowing boat and meander through the park, join the many boat trips, trails, or explore the butterfly museum. Stratford and the surrounding market towns, villages and hamlets are bustling with life, theatre and drama, much like the area’s most famous son!
Daylesford organic farm shop, café and cookery school brings the farm to fork ethos really into life with tours, tasting and shopping available, it’s a truly unique day out for both those who are culinary buffs and those who just love to eat! The Kingham Plough nearby is an award-winning pub with famous chef Emily Watkins and team producing an exceptional menu welcoming you to a truly authentic Cotswolds experience. To top it off the Cotswold Distillery is really quite unusual, as you explore the creation of fine spirits including dry gin made with lavender from Snowshill and a flagship malt whiskey amongst others!
Take note of the old wide pavements and carefully maintained landscapes in many of these cotswolds town, villages and hamlets. These places are often used to shoot many famous period dramas you see on your TV screens, as they’ve been preserved beautifully and kept many of the original features authentic to these eras!
Relocation to Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire, does indeed have many a thing to shout about with Bramley apples, HP Sauce, Ibuprofen, the Raleigh Chopper and MRI scanning all originating from this Midlands county. It is also renowned for being the home of some of the finest wordsmiths to ever put paper to pen. From the often controversial tales of D.H. Lawrence, poems of Lord Byron, to Alan Sillitoe’s tales of local life throughout the 20th century; some of the most acclaimed writers are born and bred ‘Nottinghamians’. In 2015 the city of Nottingham was awarded a UNESCO City of Literature – being one of only 20 cities around the world recognised for literary excellence. There are many tours on offer around the county and city of Nottingham for those who want to learn more!
He stole from the rich to give to the poor, one of the world’s best loved folk heroes – Robin Hood is also a Nottinghamian! His legend brings together universal themes of adventure, altruism and rebellion and have been retold down the generations. The city of Nottingham is littered with Robin Hood landmarks worth a visit including the dungeons of the Old Country Gaol where he was held captive by the Sheriff of Nottingham to the church where he wed Maid Marian. Visit the Sherwood forest and see his hideout the Major Oak, and wander the many nature trails and walks throughout this beautiful area of woodland and heathland.
The forest has been enjoyed by successive royalty historically, with some parts acquired by nobility, there are today four ducal estates within the forest. This unique area is called The Dukeries and contains the estates of Clumber, Welbeck, Thereby and Worksop. On the Wellbeck Estate you will find the Harley Gallery, Wellbeck Farm shop and the School of Artisan Food, the UK’s only not-for-profit culinary school dedicated to artisan food offering an array of short courses all year around. Finally, this county is renowned for Stilton cheese (a cheese not for the faint hearted), it is quite an acquired taste. However, for those willing to try it be sure to check out Cropwell Bishop Creamery & cheesemaker’s Shop in Cropwell Bishop where this mouthwatering cheese has been made for more than three generations!
The city of Nottingham in comparison to some of it’s southern neighbours offers a lot of fun but at often cheaper prices, as well as excellent transport links. Famous for Robin Hood (which we’ll delve into later) the Sherwood Forest and Nottingham Castle, it is steeped in history, heritage and the feeling that myths and legends happened in it’s streets in years gone by around every corner. The tobacco, bicycle and lace-making industries also lay claim to having originated in Nottingham too. Today, where they were once manufactured is now inhabited by Nottingham’s independent shopping districts from Cobden Chambers to the streets of Hockley to Derby Road and St James Street, you will find several hubs for independent shopping across the city. Paul Smith, arguably the pre-eminent British designer of our time, was born and raised in Nottingham. His collections still to this day are designed across London and Nottingham, before being sold across 35 countries throughout the world. Sir Paul’s most exquisite retail venture can be found in Nottingham – Willoughby House – a five storey Grade II listed building with his latest men’s and women’s collections available!
Relocation to Derbyshire
There are many quaint quintessential english towns dotted around this county but those we would recommend you exploring are Buxton and Matlock Bath. The first is on the edge of the national park and famous for its thermal spas. A relaxed rural feel, stroll through the town enjoying lakeside views, and a high street of ornate Victorian architecture home to independent shops. cafés, restaurants and a weekend arts and crafts market. It even has its own theatre which stages musicals, comedy and dance throughout the year.
The second – Matlock Bath – also long associated with thermal baths, is situated on the banks of the River Derwent where you will find a handful of delightful spas to choose from – if a day of relaxation is on the cards – offering massage, reflexology, bathing pools and swimming pools with geothermal heated water. For those after a little more active entertainment The heights of Abraham, a hilltop park can either be hiked up in around an hour, or reached by a cable car journey that cuts across the Derwent Valley reaching the summit of Masson Hill. Finally, on Matlock Bath’s doorstep is Gulliver’s Kingdom a theme park combining fun rides with hands-on activities for toddlers through to teens.
Situated in the East Midlands, the county includes much of the Peak District National Park, the southern end of the Pennine range of hills, and part of the National Forest. The Peak District, previously mentioned in the Staffordshire section of this guide, measures 555 square miles offering week’s worth of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, climbing and birdwatching. There is also evidence of Stone Age civilisation via Thor’s Cave, and one of the Uk’s most important neolithic relics, Arbor Law a stone circle that is, remarkably, still very much intact and preserved. Finally Thorpe Cloud, one of the tallest peaks in the Pennine mountain range is part of some of the most popular hikes in the park, and on reaching the summit you will be spoilt with panoramas of rolling english countryside, wide open sky after all your efforts!
The other prominent attractions in Derbyshire, that warrant a visit are the Crich Tramway Village with over 60 trams built between 1873 and 1982 set in a reconstructed period village, (it is temporarily closed but due to re-open soon); Chatsworth House known for its art collection including ancient Egyptian pieces, and works by the likes of Rembrandt and Lucian Freud. Last but not least is Donington Park Circuit, dating back to 1931, it is Britain’s first racetrack and has been both a racetrack, then a storage depot during WWII and then a racetrack again from the 70s. In 1993 it hosted the F1 European Grand Prix. If you can’t make it on a race day anyone who enjoys motor cars will find Michael Schumacher’s winning Ferrari F2000, vintage Vanwalls and powerful McLaren F1 cars here too!
Relocation to Staffordshire
Staffordshire, home to many historic market towns, bustling high streets and shopping areas offers much for those who crave some retail therapy. The Trentham Estate has a rather unusual shopping village with 80 stores, cafes and tea rooms housed in unusual timber lodges; as well as lakeside trails in the lovingly restored Capability Brown parkland. Stoke-on-Trent famous for it’s ceramic industry heritage; Burton upon Trent for it’s brewing history and locally-brewed ales; Lichfield famous for the only medieval English cathedral with three spires and Tamworth Castle are just some of the cultural spots dotted around this abundant county. The Staffordshire Hoard – the largest-ever find of Anglo-Saxon gold, silver and jewellery can be found at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, alongside the real-life Downton Abbey – Weston Park – one of many majestic stately homes situated in Staffordshire.
For those after a bit of a different thrill, both Alton Towers Resort and Drayton Manor Park can be found in this county, so for those who love rollercoasters, there are rides galore! Uttoxeter Racecourse showcases jump-racing; and Cannock Chase challenging mountain bike routes and five high rope courses. Even on a rainy day thrill seekers can get there adrenaline fix on the slopes at Tamworth Snowdome or the aqua slides at Waterworld. For those animal lovers Trentham Monkey Forest let’s you interact up close and personal with monkeys, Peak Wildlife Park you can feed lemurs, meerkats and penguins, and National Forest Adventure park where perhaps more local animals can be found – pigs, sheep and cows!
Staffordshire has generous portions of the Peak District and Pennine national parks, offering some of the most breathtaking scenery of the English countryside for walkers, and the National Forest trails for bikers and hikers. The Peak District National Park’s three main landscapes are the Dark Peak, White Peak and South West Peak. The first is composed of rugged landscapes ideal for those who want rugged terrain, gritstone plateaus, heather moorlands and wild remote landscapes that are ideal for challenging walks and outdoor activities. As the name would suggest the White Peak is characterised by the limestone dales, meadows, pastures and dry-stone walls. Finally the last – South West Peak – shares similarities with the Dark Peak, albeit a smaller area of moorland, and is interlinked with hedges and farmland. Finally, with nearly over a third of the area protected for nature conservation, it’s an ideal habitat for an abundance of plants and animals. It has existed for over 10,000 years, therefore deeming it one of the most biodiverse, socially and culturally historic National Parks across England and Wales. Why not visit the Queen’s Chair, for the brave only though, it is a boulder precariously positioned on a cliff edge within the Roaches, ‘a wind-carved outcrop of rocks that form a jagged gritstone escarpment’. You will experience breathtaking views of the Peaks, as well as neighbouring Ramshaw Rocks and Hen Cloud that mark the southwest tip of the Pennines!
The Taste of Staffordshire scheme runs the length and breadth of the county’s culinary offering. Businesses who display the schemes logo have been independently verified as the best food and drink establishments in the county. Whether you’re looking to sit down and eat something delicious, or buy the best locally-grown or reared produce, this quality ‘marque’ is a guarantee that these eateries, retailers and producers have firstly at least a four-star hygiene rating, but also that a minimum of 40% of their ingredients have come from a local supplier. These establishments are helping the Staffordshire economy but also cutting down on food miles. Whether you’re craving something local, international or just a snack there is a a wide variety of options available to any budding customer!